Kevin Geenen and his sister at the 2017 March for Life in Ottawa.

Speaking Out: Bubble trouble for pro-lifers

By  Kevin Geenen, Youth Speak News
  • September 8, 2017

Summer is ending and I’m now entering my first year of university, but I am more concerned about something else: bubble zones.

In May, the Ontario government announced that it will pass legislation this fall that will make bubble zones a law. Bubble zones ban all forms of pro-life protest (peaceful or otherwise) within a specific radius of abortion clinics, reducing the effectiveness of the pro-life movement.

Pro-lifers should be concerned with this news because the concept of bubble zones is unnecessary and goes directly against our rights to freedom of speech and expression.

The idea for a bubble zone law in Ontario arose after claims of harassment at the Morgentaler abortion clinic in Ottawa. Yet, there was only one reported incident: a young man entered the building where the clinic is located and threw holy water around while banging the walls. He was arrested by police and rightfully so.

The pro-life movement is characterized by its peacefulness. Unfortunately, there will always be a few individuals who act otherwise. Real pro-lifers respect the dignity of all people, even if those people are mothers about to have an abortion.

Overreacting by banning all pro-life protests is not the answer. Police simply need to make arrests when warranted. This is the age where everybody and their grandma has a smartphone and yet I have not seen conclusive evidence backing the claims of rising antagonism among pro-lifers.

Rather, I have seen and experienced harassment on the part of pro-choice protesters, specifically at the 2017 National March for Life.

A pro-life presence near abortion clinics is essential. Prolifers inform women (who are often pressured into abortion) that there are other options. Through their silent witness and carefully constructed pamphlets, they encourage positive discussion. Pro-lifers are also there after an abortion to provide support and forgiveness to mothers after their traumatic experience.

So, why would the government ban an organization like 40 Days for Life that holds prayer vigils in front of clinics, encourages the usage of life-affirming signs and requires its participants to sign a statement of peace?

Clearly this is not an issue of safety. Our society wants to silence the truth, even at the cost of free speech. Restricting free speech is wrong. We must speak up about the bubble-zone legislation before our voices are silenced.

Learn about the issue at hand. Surf the Internet and read articles concerning the bubble-zone legislation.

Sign a petition. Campaign Life Coalition has an online petition. Simply filling in your information can go a long way.

Spread the word. Send people the online petition or print off sheets from Campaign Life Coalition’s website and collect signatures. Share information on social media.

(Geenen, 18, is a first-year communications and political science student at the University of Ottawa.)

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